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THE CRUCIAL ROLE THAT INDIGENOUS PEOPLE COULD PLAY IN INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY

Indigenous people represent one of the most vulnerable groups to the severe impacts of climate change.

Indigenous rely on the natural environment and biodiversity for their livelihoods, as their entire worldview is based on complex interactions with nature and the environment.

Indigenous people are vulnerable because of the continuing neglect and marginalization in national, regional and international climate change policy.

However, recent events of various indigenous peoples’ initiatives show that indigenous communities possess important resilience that should not be neglected.

According to some experts, the participation of these communities and the integration of their knowledge and priorities could play a crucial role: indigenous people should be involved at the UN climate talks.

Including these communities in the international debates will help policymakers to achieve effective results in order to address climate change.

In this context, experts have stressed that climate change represents a global problem: however, its impacts are local, varying significantly by location.

Indigenous people have been adapting to changes in the environment for centuries, living in harmony with their own landscape. Consequently, these communities have developed strategies and methods to adapt to environmental changes.

In relation to that, the Indigenous Peoples’ Biocultural Climate Change Assessment Initiative (IPCCA) have outlined that many of these adaptations are already in progress in order to tackle climate change related issues. The strategic methods that indigenous people have undertaken include, for instance, diversifying and supplementing natural resources, altering and modifying key species and biodiversity, shifting timing cycles and calendars and adjusting locations.

In this way, the climate change policy apparatus need to involve in the international policy these skills and knowledge, often neglected by the broad technical and scientific approaches.

 

The gLAWcal Team

EPSEI project

Friday, 1 August 2014

(Source: ChinaDialogue)